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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My two year old son, six year old daughter and myself had just said our goodbyes to my parents and were getting ready to get on the interstate to go home when we were t-boned directly into the passenger side. We had no anticipation of the event and I just remember the sheer terror of feeling while I looked for my daughter. Thank God I have been adamant about keeping a 6 yr old in the 5 point harness Britax. She has whiplash but is otherwise ok. The two year appears to be fine but we will keep an eye on him. The kids did great with the medics and the troopers. The enclave sustained damage from the entire side front tire to the back tire. The passenger door is completely bent in, the window shattered, and there is a good 10 inch gap at the top. They aren't sure as of yet if the frame is bent. There is a scratch on the hood. The adjusters are going today to look at it. The car is in West Virginia now with an estimation of 4-6 weeks without them viewing underneath. I received a Chrysler Aspen after arguing when they tried to put us in a subcompact. I told her to please figure out how to put three car seats (I car pool daily with the neighbor) and an 80 lb dog in an Aveo and drive three hours with our luggage. She saw my point. Ironically, the Aspen was one of my choices when choosing a new car. I've only driven it three hours to get home today but I am extremely glad I choose the Enclave instead. Now I will just have to miss it for a bit. I give high marks to Onstar. They were on the line automatically with the police on a 3 way call and had sent out the EMS before I even got out of the car. My only concern with the Enclave was the side airbags didn't deploy and the door came inside the cabin. The trooper said it may be more of a rollover impact that deploys them. The other driver that hit us was driving a Toyota Highlander and his front airbag didn't deploy either. They were very surprised at that. He has Geico insurance and that who is taking the claim. Hopefully they aren't a problem to deal with.
 

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Wow, that is AWFUL. But Enclave aside, you all getting out relatively unscathed is the most important factor!

Depending on the damage, as you said, it may or may not be fixed, but probably will be...well, unless things really just add up and there's a lot more than meets the eye. Hopefully the insurance dealings aren't an extreme pain, at least especially so because it was not your fault at all (correct?). Different companies have different policies, and knowing the collision repair-insurance industry dealings fairly well, Geico is not one of the best to deal with in regards to damage (they tend to cheap out, and really squeeze for every last half cent, and collision shops hold them in low regards, generally)...but, you never know. I'm insured through them, and after an accident in the fall, all was fine.

Again, just SO glad everyone is mostly okay, and everything else can be dealt with in due time ;)
 

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Thank goodness you are all ok and didn't suffer serious injuries. I too have my daughter in the Britax and will keep her in that as long as she can fit. Definitely keep an ears and arms open for your children though - I had a good friend who was in an accident back in November and her three year old daughter was distraught over it and had some hard nights sleeping and even getting back into the car when they got it back from the shop.

It is sad to hear your story and read about your significant damage. Thank you for reporting about OnStar, not that I don't believe the television ads, but it is such an excellent feature that doesn't get enough notice. I am surprised about the side airbags as you were hit on the side. What airbags did deploy?

Again, thank goodness you are all ok and may you have your Enclave back and better soon.
 

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Wow, that's pretty scary! I'm glad you are all okay.

May I suggest... You and the kids go straight to a chiropractor and have your spinal and neck injuries looked at. Many people pooh-pooh chiropractic, but my experience has been nothing but positive. Someday, you will be glad you did it.
 

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Enclavious said:
My two year old son, six year old daughter and myself had just said our goodbyes to my parents and were getting ready to get on the interstate to go home when we were t-boned directly into the passenger side. We had no anticipation of the event and I just remember the sheer terror of feeling while I looked for my daughter. Thank God I have been adamant about keeping a 6 yr old in the 5 point harness Britax. She has whiplash but is otherwise ok. The two year appears to be fine but we will keep an eye on him. The kids did great with the medics and the troopers. The enclave sustained damage from the entire side front tire to the back tire. The passenger door is completely bent in, the window shattered, and there is a good 10 inch gap at the top. They aren't sure as of yet if the frame is bent. There is a scratch on the hood. The adjusters are going today to look at it. The car is in West Virginia now with an estimation of 4-6 weeks without them viewing underneath. I received a Chrysler Aspen after arguing when they tried to put us in a subcompact. I told her to please figure out how to put three car seats (I car pool daily with the neighbor) and an 80 lb dog in an Aveo and drive three hours with our luggage. She saw my point. Ironically, the Aspen was one of my choices when choosing a new car. I've only driven it three hours to get home today but I am extremely glad I choose the Enclave instead. Now I will just have to miss it for a bit. I give high marks to Onstar. They were on the line automatically with the police on a 3 way call and had sent out the EMS before I even got out of the car. My only concern with the Enclave was the side airbags didn't deploy and the door came inside the cabin. The trooper said it may be more of a rollover impact that deploys them. The other driver that hit us was driving a Toyota Highlander and his front airbag didn't deploy either. They were very surprised at that. He has Geico insurance and that who is taking the claim. Hopefully they aren't a problem to deal with.

If the damage is as bad as you say --- then I would pray that they total it.....

If not == ask them if they would put their three kids in the back and risk another tbone
accident and want to be responsible for the outcome.

I have a hard time thinking there wasn't some structural integrity lost.

Might even get a new Enclave before they fixed the old one!

Also make sure you complain to your insurance company if GEICO doesn't
treat you well. Maybe even do so preemptively -- mentioning your fears
about driving a repaired vehicle......

Don't take the first answers as gospel -- if you complain enough -- you might
just get your way.

m
 

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ENCLAVIOUS,
I am just in SHOCK at your story. I hope your family continues to improve health-wise day by day. My prayers go out to you and yours. This had to be a terrible experience.

I am due to go From San Diego to Atlanta and back next month. This will make me even more careful. It is hard to look out for the other guy all the time, but we have to try I guess.

I too am puzzled as to why the airbags didn't go off. Do you feel the airbags may have mitigated some of the injuries your family suffered? I wonder now what causes the airbags to deploy, and if we truly understand how they work?

At one time my wife wanted a Dodge Aspen, but I have never been too keen on Chrysler products, and I talked her out of it. They are hard on gas too.

I hope you get your Enclave back, either as a repair, or as a brand new one.

Good luck, be careful, and take good care of those little ones.
 

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Airbags not going off in either vehicle is not necessarily indicative of a problem. You have to get hit really hard in order for it to be worthwhile to deploy them. That's a good thing, because replacing deployed airbags is very expensive, so you only want them going off when really necessary. In most accidents, the seatbelts and safety cage of the vehicle do just fine protecting the occupants without need for airbags, and it sounds like that was the case with yours. It sounds like your Enclave held up very well to one of the most dangerous kinds of accidents. I wish you all the best and pray that there are no latent injuries which pop up later. I'm betting your Enclave will not be totaled - it takes a lot of damage to total a $30-40K car. Good body shops do amazing work these days - unfortunately my '01 Pathfinder knows that from more than one experience, and I can tell you there's no way I would ever know from inspecting it that it's been hit.
 

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I'm glad everyone is OK..........
 

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glad all of you are ok......airbags not deploying is definitely not indicative of a problem.....however most if not all are designed to deploy at a 12-15 mph impact!
 

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Happy to hear your all ok. Possibly the side airbags didn't deploy because of the weight of the kids being too light? Seems like I read something about 70 lbs before they deploy?
 

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PAPoPo said:
glad all of you are ok......airbags not deploying is definitely not indicative of a problem.....however most if not all are designed to deploy at a 12-15 mph impact!
That speed is true if you're hitting a fixed object, but another vehicle in a t-bone accident is definitely not a fixed object as the body absorbs some of the impact and the force of the impact pushes the t-boned car away. So the effective deployment speed in that kind of impact may be more like 25-30 mph.

Head-on collisions at 12-15 mph would nearly always result in deployment.
 

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huh?.....the highlander hit her with his front end......if your theory is correct tell me why his airbags didnt deploy? I have investigated crashes where people hit trees at 50 mph and the airbag didnt deploy and others where they hit a guide rail at 10 and they did....airbag deployment is not an exact science by any means.....
 

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I'll be shocked if it isn't totalled, but it is a relatively new car....or used to be...

A similar situation actually got us into an Acadia two days after my wife's t-bone scenario. Fortunately, our kids were'nt in the car.

Not the way to an 09 purchase, but I think you're going to get there!
 

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PAPoPo said:
huh?.....the highlander hit her with his front end......if your theory is correct tell me why his airbags didnt deploy? I have investigated crashes where people hit trees at 50 mph and the airbag didnt deploy and others where they hit a guide rail at 10 and they did....airbag deployment is not an exact science by any means.....
Because he didn't hit a fixed object - he hit her side, which would have the effect of pushing her away. Had they met head-on, the physics would have been similar to hitting a fixed object because of the energy of both cars moving towards each other.

Agreed that it is not an exact science. If somebody hit a tree at 50 mph and the airbag didn't deploy - that is a plain and simple equipment failure. We've come a long ways from the early days of airbags deploying when people bumped into light poles in parking lots though.
 

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OMG, Enclavacious when it rains it pours... I'm glad to hear that you and the kids are mostly OK. I hope everything gets resolved quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Who can fill me in on "frame bench and unibody repair"? This is part of the findings as of now. The mechanic said this can be repaired without affecting the integrity of the car. Is this true? We are at $6k at this point unless they find something else underneath. It's actually a much less amount than I had thought it would be. The one thing they are unable to get in as of now is the laminated glass for the door. No confirmation on anything yet but that is what I know as of now.
 

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Unfortunately it means your frame is damaged, fight them tooth and nail on this, you don't need another headache...There is not a repair shop in this world that can make a car drive the same way it did before a crash IMO.....
 

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PAPoPo said:
Unfortunately it means your frame is damaged, fight them tooth and nail on this, you don't need another headache...There is not a repair shop in this world that can make a car drive the same way it did before a crash IMO.....
I beg to differ, at least in cases like this where it was a side structure impact--zero effect on driving, just on doors, fenders, and such.

The biggest hurdle is just the mental aspect *knowing* that the one side was reconstructed, knowing that half of the car was repainted, etc. That's where the issue comes from, even with the best work. We once had a Chrysler 300M that was slammed in the driver's side rear, and after a new trunk floor pan, new quarter, window, and everything in between, the work was flawless (really), but just knowing how much had been done...it perturbed my mother everyday she had it after until the trade, 2 months later.

Side impacts are common and shops don't often get enough credit for what they can do, but again, once something relatively severe is done to a new car...it's a tricky image to deal with. And one that even persists on down to the repair work being noticed when you go to sell or trade, etc.
 

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frame bench and unibody repair.....doesnt that tell you something happened to the frame even though it is side impact? Or am I missing something?
 

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They attach the car to a frame bench so that as they take off and put on panels for the unibody nothing gets out of line. When they are done if they are good its as good as or better than it was before. Been through this a couple of times and never could feel or see any difference. I have even bought cars that had been totaled and been redone and except for having a salvage title no one ever knew.
 
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